I was really motived in the spring of this year, and started posting a lot of my #SummerFit videos on my second Youtube channel (you can see those here if you're interested). I was exercising regularly, getting back into great shape, my endurance level was going up - and then it all came crashing down!
I had a spinal cord injury beginning of August (which I blogged about here) that left me hospitalized for three days, and in a world of excruciating pain.
After I was released from hospital, I couldn't sit or walk properly for a while. The pain continued and of course I couldn't do any exercise at all, as I was advised by my spinal doctor. He also told me to avoid any exercise for at least 10 weeks. I had to go back to leading a very sedentary life, where I was basically getting very, very little movement throughout the day. I found it hard to sit for very long, so I resorted to editing my pre-filmed videos (which I thankfully I still had a couple stored up) in a horizontal position on our guest bedroom.
Now it's October and I am slowly back to a somewhat normal existence. I can walk, sit for a good 4 hours before the pain comes back, and I am undergoing physiotherapy. I see my therapist twice a week, and we're working on flexibility, strengthening, and increasing movement again. An after effect of my spinal cord injury is that my left leg is partially lame, and I have a loss of feeling. It's slowly going away at a snail's pace, but for a while it was very scary, and also annoying. I kept tripping over my own feet because my leg and foot wouldn't function properly!
So where has this left me fitness wise? Well of course it totally threw me off my course, and since August, I've not been able to do anything in the way of fitness. It's been a nearly 3 month break, and only now am I slowly easing back into it. I'm also having to change up the kind of exercise I do. Goodbye Insanity fitness DVDs, goodbye high-impact exercise - hello to low impact! Ugh. A part of me hates it because I feel like such a grandma. I was so proud of the strength I had before this, and now I feel really frail. I know, however, that my back needs time to heal, which can take up to 1.5 years for it to go back to normal, but it's my absolute priority right now.
Of course I gained some weight, not dramatically, as I've been trying to watch what I eat a lot more since I cannot get a lot of movement in. It's really frustrating because I absolute hate restricting myself on food, it just doesn't make me a happy camper. I just feel really unfit and soft right now, a lot of the muscle definition I had worked up is ebbing away. It threw me for a loop, I admit, after being so energetic and fit for the past 2 years or so. It made me realize how much it's become a part of my life, and how much I miss going outside to exercise when I can't do it. It's not only good for your body and health, but also for your mind. It's depressing when you have an injury, and you just can't do anything for so long afterwards.
After getting the green light from my doctor, I made the decision to join a gym that has an indoor pool. I've always been sort of against gyms for myself, because I just never really enjoyed it. I hated the smell, the gross public showers, and running like a hamster on a treadmill, never really going anywhere. But I went for a trial work-out at this place nearby, and it was very clean, with really new equipment, lots of windows, and I loved swimming. I used to swim a lot as a teenager, and then again as a student in university, so I'm actually quite good at it. Right now I can do front and back crawl; breast stroke still hurts my back somewhat because you have to arch your back. I also want to start weight lifting for my arms, because I just hate the softness I have there, and no amount of running will change that. I'll have to be careful with lifting weights on other parts right now, because it can be bad for an injured back. I'll just have to see what works, and what doesn't.
I'm excited to start a new routine, but also sad that running will have to go on hold at the moment. I tried some speed walking but it just wasn't the same. I will miss my beautiful wooded trails in autumn this year. It also means I'm unsure if or how I will be able to film fitness videos again, as I will be in an indoors environment, which makes things extremely awkward for self-vlogging. I'll have to see how it develops and if I feel comfortable doing that with people around, who might not be too keen on being filmed working out in the background.
That's it from my side, and where I'm at. As you can see, we all suffer set backs at some point, for some it might be small things, in my case it was a bit more scary. The important thing is just not to give up, and when you're ready, to hop on the wagon again!
Have you ever suffered a set-back in your fitness or weight loss routine? What happened and what did you do to overcome it? Please share in the comments, I would love to get some feedback as this is something I think everyone struggles with from time to time.